This exhibition is a snapshot of everyday life in Onomatopoeia; the main city-port and gateway to the island. Comprising drawings of both complex scenes and detailed character studies, the show will also include functional and decorative objects; cafe tables, drinking vessels, wallpaper, and posters that appear around the city.
Collectively the work gives an insight into the vernacular style and cultural idiosyncrasies of the island. For example; the Islanders’ tables are traditionally either three sided or five sided (it is felt that square or rectangular tables promote awkwardly direct or indirect relationships), and they pour wine from carafes that have the form of the diving birds that can be seen fishing from the rocks around the coast. The Islanders are as concerned with the shapes between things as the things themselves. As the sage Amot Totamota, the identity to whom all otherwise unattributed sayings are accredited, states: “To consider things objectively with equal gravity one must observe not the terms themselves but that space in-between.”
Another aspect of The Islanders project explored by Avery in his most recent work for this show is the concept Sedendar. This concept used by the Islanders bears the hallmarks of our concept of art, but can also be thought of as a ghost, or spirit, which inheres in objects, making them meaningful. As Amot Tomamota decribes: “the meaning of which is to mean.”
According to Avery ‘meaning’ in this sense, and as the Islanders would have it, is not bestowed upon the inanimate by man but is a property of the universe.About Charles Avery
Born in Oban, Scotland in 1973, Charles Avery lives and works in London and the Scottish Isle of Mull. The first most comprehensive presentation of The Islanders, ‘The Islanders: An Introduction’ was exhibited at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London in 2008 and toured to The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam in 2009. Other solo presentations in the past year include the exhibition ‘It Means It Means’ curated by Tom Morton at Pilar Corrias, London and Galerie Perrotin, Paris. Recent group exhibitions include: ‘Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland’, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and ‘Year after Year: works on paper from the UBS Art Collection’, Galleria D’Arte Moderna di Milano. Forthcoming exhibitions include the Taipei Biennial 2014, and a solo exhibition at GEM, Museum of Contemporary Art in The Hague.
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